Steaming mad

KIDS have been reduced to tears because of a new Thomas the Tank Engine film, which makes the lovable steam engine look like a bit of a rogue. Thomas was created by the Rev Wilbert Awdry back in 1946. The original tales were gentle and genial, and kids loved them.

But clearly those whimsical qualities aren’t enough for modern storytellers.

Which is why Thomas the Tank Engine is now Tommi Ra Boy. (Or probably will be soon.)

Meanwhile, the Diary doesn’t agree with reboots. As these classic tales from our archives prove, the old ways are always the best...


A READER recalls the days when pubs shut at 10pm. Customers could buy drink to take home, but signs behind the bar cautioned: ‘No carry-outs after 10 o’clock.’

A friend of our reader, accompanied by his aunt and her posh Hampstead companion who were holidaying in Scotland, were in Arran’s Corrie hotel for a drink. The Hampstead lady’s gaze fell on the sign. Blissfully unaware of that it meant, she asked, in all seriousness, “Do people really get that drunk up here?”

Needle nurtured

A GLASGOW mum told us that her son was visiting his granny where he was puzzled by a small, lumpy piece of material, and asked what it was.

“A pin cushion,” replied gran.

“Why do you want to make pins comfortable?” he asked.

Disappearing act

A READER saw a magician on a ferry where the crowd was showing no interest in the act. Though the magician did eventually manage to persuade a volunteer to go up on stage, where he proceeded to blindfold the magician.

“But after doing this the volunteer just walked off stage never to be seen again,” recalled our reader. “Leaving the magician asking thin air to ‘Pick a card’. It was funnier than any comedian.”

Nothing plus nothing

AN EXASPERATED mother in Hyndland saw her teenage daughter hanging about the house and asked what her plans were for the day.

“Nothing,” the girl replied.

“That’s what you did yesterday,” said her mum.

“Not finished it yet,” came the reply.

Stripped for action

A JOGGING tale from a Cumnock reader, who says: “Arriving late for our regular run, one of our group quickly whipped off his tracksuit and set off to catch us. When he caught up we noticed he was running in his Y-fronts. Bewilderment followed because he clearly remembered putting his running shorts on.

“They were eventually found inside his tracksuit bottoms in the back of his car.”

Creepy-crawly crunch

A BEARSDEN reader’s granddaughter raced in from the garden to tell him that there were a large number of snails on the garden path. Thinking of a well-known remedy, our reader announced: “I’ll get some salt.”

“You’re not going to eat them?” screeched the horrified granddaughter.

New balls please

A FEW years back Serena Williams had won yet another grand slam tennis title making her unquestionably the best player in the world. Glasgow actor Sanjeev Kohli from Still Game pondered: “Do you think Serena and Venus have a younger brother called Tennisy Williams?”